Battle of Arnhem (1813)
The Battle of Arnhem saw Friedrich Wilhelm Freiherr von Bülow's Prussian corps fight an Imperial French division under Henri François Marie Charpentier at Arnhem. Attacking under the cover of fog, the Prussians broke into the city at several points and forced the French to retreat to Nijmegen after hard fighting in this War of the Sixth Coalition clash. Arnhem is a city in the Netherlands located on the Rhine River 100 kilometres southeast of Amsterdam. In late November 1813, Bülow's III Prussian Corps invaded the Netherlands, sparking a Dutch rebellion against the French. Marshal Jacques MacDonald commanding the defending French XI Corps ordered Charpentier to evacuate Arnhem, but that general chose to ignore his instructions and suffered a defeat. After winning the battle, Bülow continued west in order to liberate Utrecht and support the Dutch revolt; the Prussian general's forces were soon joined by a British expedition led by Thomas Graham, 1st Baron Lynedoch. Friction between the Prussians and their Russian and Swedish allies resulted in a pause in the effort to liberate Holland and Belgium from the French.
The Coalition armies decisively defeated Emperor Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig on 16–19 October 1813. The French emperor employed 203,133 soldiers and 738 field guns while his Coalition foes massed 361,942 men and 1,456 artillery pieces. Napoleon's forces lost 2,893 officers and 43,500 rank and file killed and wounded while 8,000 wounded, 15,000 sick and 15,000 unwounded were taken prisoner. Allied casualties numbered 51,982 men. Of Napoleon's enormous army, only 80,000 escaped west over the Saale River. By the time the French emperor withdrew to the west bank of the Rhine River in November, there were only 60,000–70,000 soldiers left to defend France with 100,000 more besieged in German fortresses; the major Coalition powers were not all in agreement about. Czar Alexander I of Russia wanted to capture Paris and remove Napoleon from power though some of his generals thought they had shed enough Russian blood. King Frederick William III of Prussia sided with the czar while his subjects wanted revenge against France.
Emperor Francis I of Austria was wary of the overthrow of Napoleon because he feared the expansion of Russian and Prussian influence. Weary of financially supporting the Coalition, Great Britain wanted a permanent peace; the Swedish regent Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, a former Marshal of France, was believed to be secretly plotting to secure the throne of France for himself. Napoleon appointed his brother Louis Bonaparte to the Kingdom of Holland in May 1806. However, on 9 July 1810, the French emperor extinguished the kingdom and annexed the Netherlands to the First French Empire; the Dutch contributed only 17,300 soldiers to Napoleon's armies in 1811–1813, but their severe casualties in the French invasion of Russia shocked the population. Since their trade was badly damaged by Napoleon's Continental System, the Dutch people were ready to throw off the French yoke. In early November, Russian corps commander Ferdinand von Wintzingerode sent a 3,500-man Streifkorps led by Alexander Khristoforovich Benckendorff into Holland.
Benckendorff's force of Don Cossacks, regular cavalry and infantry was soon joined by eight additional Cossack regiments. The Dutch rebellion first broke out in Amsterdam on 14–15 November. Depressed by the loss of his son in Russia, the French civil leader Charles-François Lebrun, duc de Plaisance responded ineffectively to the crisis. By 19 November the revolt leaders formed a provisional government until the House of Orange-Nassau could be restored to power. On 13 November Friedrich Wilhelm Freiherr von Bülow's III Prussian Corps advanced west from Minden toward the Dutch border. To defend against this threat, Marshal Jacques MacDonald deployed the XI Corps and II Cavalry Corps along the Rhine from Andernach to Wesel. To assist Gabriel Jean Joseph Molitor's weak forces in Holland, MacDonald organized a 2,000-man task force under François Pierre Joseph Amey to help defend the Rhine downstream from Wesel. Macdonald began shifting his forces north to defend the lower Rhine; the French were weakened by the desertion of their foreign battalions and were compelled to form infantry and cavalry units from customs agents and mounted gendarmes.
Aside from contributing the raiding forces, Wintzingerode's corps remained stationary in Germany. By the end of November, MacDonald redistributed his forces into three groups. On the left wing were 10,000 troops in Henri François Marie Charpentier's 31st Division, the II Cavalry Corps and Amey's flying column; these were tasked to defend the Rhine, Meuse and Ijssel Rivers. The center counted 6,000 men from Michel Sylvestre Brayer's 35th Division near Wesel while the 7,500-strong right wing consisted of the V Corps and III Cavalry Corps. Bülow's corps numbered 19,172 foot soldiers and 6,240 horsemen organized in four infantry and three cavalry brigades; the infantry contingent included the 3rd Brigade under Karl Heinrich von Zielinski, 4th Brigade led by Heinrich Ludwig August von Thümen, 5th Brigade commanded by Karl Heinrich Ludwig von Borstell and 6th Brigade directed by Karl August Adolf von Krafft. Adolf Friedrich von Oppen commanded cavalry brigades led by Karl Alexander Wilhelm von Treskow, Karl Friedrich Bernhard Hellmuth von Hobe and Hans Joachim Friedrich von Sydow.
Karl Friedrich von Holtzendorff directed the corps artillery and wagon train. In round numbers, Bülow commanded 96 field guns; the Army of Bohemia under Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg did not cross the Rhine until 20 December 1813 while the Army of Silesia under Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher crossed the river on 1 Janu
Campaign in south-west France (1814)
The campaign in south-west France in late 1813 and early 1814 was the final campaign of the Peninsular War. An allied army of British and Spanish soldiers under the command of Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington fought a string of battles against French forces under the command of Marshal Jean de Dieu Soult, from the Iberian Peninsula across the Pyrenees and into south-west France ending with the capture of Toulouse and the besieging of Bayonne; the campaign ended when—on receiving word of the abdication of Napoleon Bonaparte as Emperor of France, the ratification of a general armistice —the opposing commanders signed a local armistice on 17 April 1814. In July 1813 Marshal Soult began a counter-offensive and defeated the Allies at the Battle of Maya and the Battle of Roncesvalles. Pushing on into Spain, by 27 July the Roncesvalles wing of Soult's army was within ten miles of Pamplona but found its way blocked by a substantial allied force posted on a high ridge in between the villages of Sorauren and Zabaldica, lost momentum, was repulsed by the Allies at the Battle of Sorauren Reille's right wing suffered further losses at Yanzi.
Total losses during this counter-offensive being about 7,000 for the Allies and 10,000 for the French. In August 1813, British headquarters still had misgivings about the eastern powers. Austria had now joined the Allies, but the Allied armies had suffered a significant defeat at the Battle of Dresden, they had recovered somewhat. Wellington's brother-in-law Edward Pakenham wrote, "I should think that much must depend upon proceedings in the north: I begin to apprehend... that Boney may avail himself of the jealousy of the Allies to the material injury of the cause." But the defeat or defection of Austria and Prussia was not the only danger. It was uncertain that Wellington could continue to count on Spanish support. On 8 September Wellington accepted the surrender of the French-garrisoned city of San Sebastián under Brigadier-General Louis Emmanuel Rey after two sieges that lasted from 7 July to 25 July (While Wellington departed with sufficient forces to deal with Marshal Soult's counter-offensive, he left General Graham in command of sufficient forces to prevent sorties from the city and any relief getting in.
Wellington next determined to throw his left across the river Bidassoa to strengthen his own position, secure the port of Fuenterrabia. At daylight on 7 October 1813 Wellington crossed the Bidassoa in seven columns, attacked the entire French position, which stretched in two entrenched lines from north of the Irun-Bayonne road, along mountain spurs to the Great Rhune 2,800 feet high; the decisive movement was a passage in strength near Fuenterrabia to the astonishment of the enemy, who in view of the width of the river and the shifting sands, had thought the crossing impossible at that point. The French right was rolled back, Soult was unable to reinforce his right in time to retrieve the day, his works fell in succession after hard fighting, he withdrew towards the river Nivelle. The losses were about—Allies, 800; the passage of the Bidassoa "was a general's not a soldier's battle". On 31 October Pamplona surrendered, Wellington was now anxious to drive Marshal Suchet from Catalonia before invading France.
The British government, however, in the interests of the continental powers, urged an immediate advance over the northern Pyrenees into south-western France. Napoleon had just suffered a major defeat at the Battle of Leipzig on 19 October and was in retreat, so Wellington left the clearance of Catalonia to others. After the Battle of Vitoria Marshal Suchet, evacuated Tarragona but defeated Bentinck in the battle of Ordal. Although there were a few minor battles during 1814, Suchet's army was denuded of regiments sent to reinforce the French forces fighting in the north-east France theatre; as his army shrank, Suchet was able to keep a small field force in being by calling in outlying garrisons and moving his area of operations closer to the French frontier. At the end of the campaign in early April 1814 Suchet had about 14,000 men cantonmented around the Spanish frontier town of Figueras; some besieged fortresses and towns held out to the end of the war. Towards the end of the campaign the Allies under estimated the size of Suchet's force and thought that Suchet with the remnant of his army was crossing the Pyrenees to join Soult in the Atlantic theatre.
So the Allies started to redeploy their own forces. The best of the British forces in Catalonia were ordered to join Wellington's army on the river Garonne in France, they left to do so on 31 March leaving the Spanish to mop up the remaining French garrisons in Catalonia. When Wellington agreed an armistice with Marshal Soult, he included Suchet's forces in that armistice, although Suchet and his small army were still on the Spanish side of the Pyrenees. On the night of 9 November 1813 Wellington brought up his right from the Pyrenean passes to the northward of Maya and towards the Nivelle. Marshal Soult's army, in three entrenched lines, stretched from the sea in front of Saint-Jean-de-Luz along commanding ground to Amotz and thence, behind the river, to Mont M
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Battle of Montmirail
The Battle of Montmirail was fought between a French force led by Emperor Napoleon and two Allied corps commanded by Fabian Wilhelm von Osten-Sacken and Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg. In hard fighting that lasted until evening, French troops including the Imperial Guard defeated Sacken's Russian soldiers and compelled them to retreat to the north. Part of Yorck's Prussian I Corps tried to intervene in the struggle but it was driven off; the battle occurred near France during the Six Days Campaign of the Napoleonic Wars. Montmirail is located 51 kilometres east of Meaux. After Napoleon crushed Zakhar Dmitrievich Olsufiev's small isolated corps in the Battle of Champaubert on 10 February, he found himself in the midst of Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher's widely-spread Army of Silesia. Leaving a small force in the east to watch Blücher, Napoleon turned the bulk of his army to the west in an attempt to destroy Sacken. Unaware of the size of Napoleon's army, Sacken tried to smash his way east to join Blücher.
The Russians managed to hold their ground for several hours, but were forced back as more and more French soldiers appeared on the battlefield. Yorck's troops belatedly arrived only to be repulsed, but the Prussians distracted the French long enough to allow Sacken's Russians to join them in a withdrawal to the north; the following day would see the Battle of Château-Thierry. On 1 February 1814, Prussian Field Marshal Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher commanding 80,000 Allied soldiers from his own Army of Silesia and Austrian Field Marshal Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg's Army of Bohemia defeated Napoleon with 45,000 French troops in the Battle of La Rothière. Elated by their triumph, the Allied commanders devised a new plan whereby Schwarzenberg advanced from Troyes toward Paris while Blücher operated on a more northerly axis from Châlons-sur-Marne toward Meaux; the two armies would be linked by Peter Wittgenstein's corps and a scouting force led by Alexander Nikitich Seslavin. Within a few days the cautious Schwarzenberg began pulling Wittgenstein's troops to the south.
Believing the war was over, Blücher pressed west after a smaller French force under Marshal Jacques MacDonald. Unknown to the Prussian field marshal, on 5 February Schwarzenberg switched Seslavin's force from the right flank to the extreme left flank without informing Blücher. Since he lacked a liaison officer with Seslavin, the Prussian was unaware that a dangerous gap yawned on his left flank; until 6 February, Napoleon planned to strike a blow against the Army of Bohemia. But that day the French emperor received intelligence. Since MacDonald was too weak to stop Army of Silesia, Napoleon was compelled to deal with Blücher first. While sending out patrols to determine the precise whereabouts of the Prussian field marshal's army, Napoleon sent Marshal Auguste de Marmont with 8,000 troops to Sézanne. On 8 February these were joined by a large force of cavalry. On the same day MacDonald's patrols reported that Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg was near Épernay with 18,000 men. When, on the morning of 9 February, Napoleon received news from Marmont that Fabian Wilhelm von Osten-Sacken was near Montmirail with about 15,000 troops, the French army lurched into action.
Marshal Claude Perrin Victor with 14,000 men, consisting of his own corps, a force under Etienne Maurice Gérard and cavalry, would hold Nogent-sur-Seine. Marshal Nicolas Oudinot with 20,000 men including the newly formed VII Corps, a 5,000-man Young Guard division, National Guards and a cavalry force under Pierre Claude Pajol was instructed to guard the bridges at Bray-sur-Seine, Pont-sur-Yonne and Sens. At this time, Napoleon had only 70,000 soldiers to confront about 200,000 Allies. With Victor and Oudinot watching Schwarzenberg, Napoleon decided to act against Blücher who he assumed to have 45,000 troops. In fact, the Army of Silesia had 57,000 soldiers, including 18,000 under Yorck at Château-Thierry, 20,000 under Sacken near La Ferté-sous-Jouarre and 19,000 under Zakhar Dmitrievich Olsufiev, Peter Mikhailovich Kaptzevich and Friedrich von Kleist at Champaubert and Bergères-lès-Vertus. However, Blücher's army was spread across a front of 44 miles and Napoleon might count on the help of the 10,000 men under MacDonald.
Napoleon striking force numbered 120 guns. It consisted of Marmont's corps, two Young Guard divisions led by Marshal Michel Ney, the I Cavalry Corps, two Old Guard divisions under Marshal Édouard Mortier, duc de Trévise, part of the Guard Cavalry and Jean-Marie Defrance's independent cavalry division. Mortier was ordered to bring up the rear. Fearing that Napoleon would offer battle near Nogent, Schwarzenberg asked his colleague Blücher to send Kleist's corps south to help. Obligingly, the Prussian field marshal ordered Kleist and Olsufiev to converge on Sézanne on 10 February. Riding with Kleist and Kaptzevich, Blücher led them south from Vertus toward Fère-Champenoise, planning to turn west from there to Sézanne. After days of rain, the roads were swamped, but the French country people assisted the army in dragging Napoleon's cannons through the mud; the French army fell on Olsufiev's small corps with crushing force in the Battle of Champaubert on 10 February. With only 5,000 men and 24 guns, the Russian general unwisely held his ground.
The 1,500 survivors were formed into four ad hoc battalions. Blücher was near Fère-Champenoise; the Prussian field marshal ordered Yorck to march to Montmirail while holding t
The Six-Day War known as the June War, 1967 Arab–Israeli War, or Third Arab–Israeli War, was fought between 5 and 10 June 1967 by Israel and the neighboring states of Egypt and Syria. Relations between Israel and its neighbours were not normalised after the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. In 1956 Israel invaded the Sinai peninsula in Egypt, with one of its objectives being the reopening of the Straits of Tiran that Egypt had blocked to Israeli shipping since 1950. Israel was forced to withdraw, but was guaranteed that the Straits of Tiran would remain open. A United Nations Emergency Force was deployed along the border, but there was no demilitarisation agreement. In the months prior to June 1967, tensions became dangerously heightened. Israel reiterated its post-1956 position that the closure of the Straits of Tiran to Israeli shipping would be a cause for war. In May Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser announced that the straits would be closed to Israeli vessels and mobilised its Egyptian forces along its border with Israel.
On 5 June, Israel launched what it claimed were a series of preemptive airstrikes against Egyptian airfields. Which side caused the war is one of a number of controversies relating to the conflict; the Egyptians were caught by surprise, nearly the entire Egyptian air force was destroyed with few Israeli losses, giving the Israelis air supremacy. The Israelis launched a ground offensive into the Gaza Strip and the Sinai, which again caught the Egyptians by surprise. After some initial resistance, Nasser ordered the evacuation of the Sinai. Israeli forces rushed westward in pursuit of the Egyptians, inflicted heavy losses, conquered the Sinai. Jordan had entered into a defense pact with Egypt a week. About an hour after the Israeli air attack, the Egyptian commander of the Jordanian army was ordered by Cairo to begin attacks on Israel. Israel subsequently captured and occupied the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, from the Jordanians and the Golan Heights from Syria. Egypt and Jordan agreed to a ceasefire on 8 June, Syria agreed on 9 June.
In the aftermath of the war, Israel had crippled the Egyptian and Jordanian militaries, having killed over 20,000 troops while only losing fewer than 1,000 of its own. The Israeli success was the result of a well-prepared and enacted strategy, the poor leadership of the Arab states, their poor military leadership and strategy. Israel seized the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, from Jordan and the Golan Heights from Syria. Israel's international standing improved in the following years, its victory humiliated Egypt and Syria, leading Nasser to resign in shame. The speed and ease of Israel's victory would lead to a dangerous overconfidence within the ranks of the Israel Defense Forces, contributing to initial Arab successes in the subsequent 1973 Yom Kippur War, although Israeli forces were successful and defeated the Arab militaries; the displacement of civilian populations resulting from the war would have long-term consequences, as 300,000 Palestinians fled the West Bank and about 100,000 Syrians left the Golan Heights.
Across the Arab world, Jewish minority communities fled or were expelled, with refugees going to Israel or Europe. After the 1956 Suez Crisis, Egypt agreed to the stationing of a United Nations Emergency Force in the Sinai to ensure all parties would comply with the 1949 Armistice Agreements. In the following years there were numerous minor border clashes between Israel and its Arab neighbors Syria. In early November 1966, Syria signed a mutual defense agreement with Egypt. Soon after this, in response to Palestine Liberation Organisation guerilla activity, including a mine attack that left three dead, the Israeli Defence Force attacked the village of as-Samu in the Jordanian-occupied West Bank. Jordanian units that engaged the Israelis were beaten back. King Hussein of Jordan criticized Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser for failing to come to Jordan's aid, "hiding behind UNEF skirts". In May 1967, Nasser received false reports from the Soviet Union that Israel was massing on the Syrian border.
Nasser began massing his troops in two defensive lines in the Sinai Peninsula on Israel's border, expelled the UNEF force from Gaza and Sinai and took over UNEF positions at Sharm el-Sheikh, overlooking the Straits of Tiran. Israel repeated declarations it had made in 1957 that any closure of the Straits would be considered an act of war, or justification for war, but Nasser closed the Straits to Israeli shipping on 22–23 May. After the war, U. S. President Lyndon Johnson commented: If a single act of folly was more responsible for this explosion than any other, it was the arbitrary and dangerous announced decision that the Straits of Tiran would be closed; the right of innocent, maritime passage must be preserved for all nations. On 30 May and Egypt signed a defense pact; the following day, at Jordan's invitation, the Iraqi army began deploying troops and armoured units in Jordan. They were reinforced by an Egyptian contingent. On 1 June, Israel formed a National
War of the Sixth Coalition
In the War of the Sixth Coalition, sometimes known in Germany as the War of Liberation, a coalition of Austria, Russia, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Spain and a number of German States defeated France and drove Napoleon into exile on Elba. After the disastrous French invasion of Russia of 1812, the continental powers joined Russia, the United Kingdom and the rebels in Spain who were at war with France; the War of the Sixth Coalition saw major battles at Lützen and Dresden. The larger Battle of Leipzig was the largest battle in European history before World War I. Napoleon's earlier setbacks in Russia and Germany proved to be the seeds of his undoing. With their armies reorganized, the allies drove Napoleon out of Germany in 1813 and invaded France in 1814; the Allies defeated the remaining French armies, occupied Paris, forced Napoleon to abdicate and go into exile. The French monarchy was revived by the allies, who handed rule to the heir of the House of Bourbon in the Bourbon Restoration; this was not, the end of the Napoleonic Wars.
Napoleon subsequently escaped from his captivity and returned to power in France, sparking the War of the Seventh Coalition in 1815, until he was defeated again for the final time. In June 1812, Napoleon invaded Russia to compel Emperor Alexander I to remain in the Continental System; the Grande Armée, consisting of as many as 650,000 men, crossed the Neman River on 23 June 1812. Russia proclaimed a Patriotic War, while Napoleon proclaimed a "Second Polish War", but against the expectations of the Poles, who supplied 100,000 troops for the invasion force, having in mind further negotiations with Russia, he avoided any concessions toward Poland. Russian forces fell back, destroying everything of use to the invaders until giving battle at Borodino where the two armies fought a devastating battle. Despite the fact that France won a tactical victory, the battle was inconclusive. Following the battle the Russians withdrew. By 14 September, the French had occupied Moscow but found the city empty. Alexander I refused to capitulate, leaving the French in the abandoned city of Moscow with little food or shelter and winter approaching.
In these circumstances, with no clear path to victory, Napoleon was forced to withdraw from Moscow. So began the disastrous Great Retreat, during which the retreating army came under increasing pressure due to lack of food and harsh winter weather, all while under continual attack by the Russian army led by Commander-in-Chief Mikhail Kutuzov, other militias. Total losses of the Grand Army were at least 370,000 casualties as a result of fighting and the freezing weather conditions, 200,000 captured. By November, only 27,000 fit soldiers re-crossed the Berezina River. Napoleon now left his army to return to Paris and prepare a defence of Poland against the advancing Russians; the situation was not as dire. However, they had the advantage of shorter supply lines and were able to replenish their armies with greater speed than the French because Napoleon's losses of cavalry and wagons were irreplaceable. On 9 January 1812, French troops occupied Swedish Pomerania to end the illegal trade with the United Kingdom from Sweden, in violation of the Continental System.
Swedish estates were confiscated and Swedish officers and soldiers were taken as prisoners. In response, Sweden declared neutrality and signed the secret Treaty of Saint Petersburg with Russia against France and Denmark–Norway on 5 April. On 18 July, the Treaty of Örebro formally ended the wars between Britain and Sweden and Britain and Russia, forming an alliance between Russia and Sweden. However, when Napoleon marched on Moscow in June–September 1812, neither Britain nor Sweden would give any military support to Russia, left on its own; the alliance existed only on paper. After the French Grande Armée retreated from Moscow on 18/19 October 1812 and suffered heavy casualties due to extreme cold, food shortages and repeated Russian attacks, Napoleon did not seem to be as invincible as before. On 14 December, the last French troops had left Russian soil, Paris' allies were considering rebellion and joining the Tsar's side; the Convention of Tauroggen was a truce signed 30 December 1812 at Tauroggen, between Generalleutnant Ludwig Yorck von Wartenburg on behalf of his Prussian troops, by General Hans Karl von Diebitsch of the Russian Army.
According to the Treaty of Tilsit, Prussia had to support Napoleon's invasion of Russia. This resulted in some Prussians leaving their army to avoid serving the French, like Carl von Clausewitz, who joined Russian service; when Yorck's immediate French superior Marshal MacDonald, retreated before the corps of Diebitsch, Yorck found himself isolated. As a soldier his duty was to break through, but as a Prussian patriot his position was more difficult, he had to judge. The Convention of Tauroggen armistice, signed by Diebitsch and Yorck, "n
The Russian Empire known as Imperial Russia or Russia, was an empire that existed across Eurasia and North America from 1721, following the end of the Great Northern War, until the Republic was proclaimed by the Provisional Government that took power after the February Revolution of 1917. The third largest empire in world history, at its greatest extent stretching over three continents, Europe and North America, the Russian Empire was surpassed in landmass only by the British and Mongol empires; the rise of the Russian Empire coincided with the decline of neighboring rival powers: the Golden Horde, the Swedish Empire, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Ottoman Empire. It played a major role in 1812–1814 in defeating Napoleon's ambitions to control Europe and expanded to the west and south; the House of Romanov ruled the Russian Empire from 1721 until 1762, its matrilineal branch of patrilineal German descent the House of Holstein-Gottorp-Romanov ruled from 1762. At the beginning of the 19th century, the Russian Empire extended from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Black Sea in the south, from the Baltic Sea on the west to the Pacific Ocean, into Alaska and Northern California in America on the east.
With 125.6 million subjects registered by the 1897 census, it had the third-largest population in the world at the time, after Qing China and India. Like all empires, it included a large disparity in terms of economics and religion. There were numerous dissident elements. Economically, the empire had a predominantly agricultural base, with low productivity on large estates worked by serfs, Russian peasants; the economy industrialized with the help of foreign investments in railways and factories. The land was ruled by a nobility from the 10th through the 17th centuries, subsequently by an emperor. Tsar Ivan III laid the groundwork for the empire that emerged, he tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Golden Horde, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, laid the foundations of the Russian state. Emperor Peter the Great fought numerous wars and expanded an huge empire into a major European power, he moved the capital from Moscow to the new model city of St. Petersburg, led a cultural revolution that replaced some of the traditionalist and medieval social and political mores with a modern, Europe-oriented, rationalist system.
Empress Catherine the Great presided over a golden age. Emperor Alexander II promoted numerous reforms, most the emancipation of all 23 million serfs in 1861, his policy in Eastern Europe involved protecting the Orthodox Christians under the rule of the Ottoman Empire. That connection by 1914 led to Russia's entry into the First World War on the side of France, the United Kingdom, Serbia, against the German and Ottoman empires; the Russian Empire functioned as an absolute monarchy on principles of Orthodoxy and Nationality until the Revolution of 1905 and became a de jure constitutional monarchy. The empire collapsed during the February Revolution of 1917 as a result of massive failures in its participation in the First World War. Though the Empire was only proclaimed by Tsar Peter I following the Treaty of Nystad, some historians would argue that it was born either when Ivan III of Russia conquered Veliky Novgorod in 1478, or when Ivan the Terrible conquered the Khanate of Kazan in 1552. According to another point of view, the term Tsardom, used after the coronation of Ivan IV in 1547, was a contemporary Russian word for empire.
Much of Russia's expansion occurred in the 17th century, culminating in the first Russian colonization of the Pacific in the mid-17th century, the Russo-Polish War that incorporated left-bank Ukraine, the Russian conquest of Siberia. Poland was divided in the 1790 -- 1815 era, with much of the population going to Russia. Most of the 19th-century growth came from adding territory in Asia, south of Siberia. Peter I the Great played a major role in introducing Russia to the European state system. While the vast land had a population of 14 million, grain yields trailed behind those of agriculture in the West, compelling nearly the entire population to farm. Only a small percentage lived in towns; the class of kholops, close in status to slavery, remained a major institution in Russia until 1723, when Peter converted household kholops into house serfs, thus including them in poll taxation. Russian agricultural kholops were formally converted into serfs earlier in 1679. Peter's first military efforts were directed against the Ottoman Turks.
His attention turned to the North. Peter still lacked a secure northern seaport, except at Archangel on the White Sea, where the harbor was frozen for nine months a year. Access to the Baltic was blocked by Sweden. Peter's ambitions for a "window to the sea" led him to make a secret alliance in 1699 with Saxony, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Denmark against Sweden, resulting in the Great Northern War; the war ended in 1721. Peter acquired four provinces situated east of the Gulf of Finland; the coveted access to the sea was now secured. There he built Russia's new capital, Saint Petersburg, to replace Moscow, which had long been Russia's cultural center. In 1722, he tur